”I felt myself a hero”

 

Learnia’s Experiential Finnish 1 (LEF1), the second-to-last course in 2012, began with a grammar class. The teacher, Anne, introduced herself in Finnish and asked for the students to do the same. Some students could tell a lot about themselves, whereas some mainly kept to the assigned words. The first class focused on assessing the level of the group by constructing sentences using various personal pronouns.

The class focused on very interactive studying with the teacher and other course participants, even though all the participants were at different addresses! The teacher was in Jyväskylä, and the students all around the metropolitan area in Helsinki. In other words, studying was done using a video connection, which allowed us to see and hear each other. Written communication as well was used for exchanging ideas.

The course continued with classroom teaching in a bigger group (7 persons). The first class with Taija
began like the grammar class, but the scope of the topic was expanded a little. Everyone was given time to introduce themselves to others. A student who had arrived to Finland only a few days earlier said: ”I feel myself a hero every time I say something, since everyone is so supportive and helpful.” In general, the atmosphere was all-around positive and no one had to be afraid of making mistakes.

Language skills were also tested outside of the classroom during the course. Even most of the advanced Finnish students used Finnish in these kind of situations outside of the classroom for the first time. Everyone was nervous at first, but after the exercises, the mood was always lightened. The students experienced real success and gained valuable experience and tools for self-exercises. The group was really tight-knit due to its small size and ample communication; people even exchanged phone numbers at the end of the course.

 

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